As promised (and in case it's of interest to anyone), I am finally posting my answers to my own riddles.
First, let's look at the Kinsey scale (for comparison purposes) as it appears in Wikipedia
- Kinsey 0 = exclusively heterosexual.
- Kinsey 1 = predominantly heterosexual, only incidentally homosexual.
- Kinsey 2 = predominantly heterosexual, but more than incidentally homosexual.
- Kinsey 3 = equally heterosexual and homosexual.
- Kinsey 4 = predominantly homosexual, but more than incidentally heterosexual.
- Kinsey 5 = predominantly homosexual, only incidentally heterosexual.
- Kinsey 6 = exclusively homosexual.
- Kinsey X = non-sexual.
Given that, I might fancy the Lorax scale to be laid out something like this:
- Lorax 0 = exclusively monogamous.
- Lorax 1 = predominantly monogamous, only incidentally polyamorous.
- Lorax 2 = predominantly monogamous, but more than incidentally polyamorous.
- Lorax 3 = equally monogamous and polyamorous.
- Lorax 4 = predominantly polyamorous, but more than incidentally monogamous.
- Lorax 5 = predominantly polyamorous, only incidentally monogamous.
- Lorax 6 = exclusively polyamorous.
- Lorax X = preferring to be un-partnered (bachelor or bachelorette).
Beyond that, we start moving into the highly speculative (and personal-opinion-based) areas. As long as that is understood, I will venture some of my own speculations (and opinions).
Note: I am using "monogamous" and "monogamy" in a loosely-defined way. For purposes of this post, I am considering "monogamy" to be interchangeable with "monoamory." Or, if you really want to get exacting about definitions, please read each of my iterations of the word "monogamy" as if I were saying "monoamory." Monogamy is the more common word (especially among the non-poly populace), and is often used as if it were synonymous with what we think when we say "monoamory." So I am using the more common word, monogamy. (And monogamous.)
To some degree, I will try to reconcile the above model of the Lorax scale with the "original version:"
- Lorax 0 = monogamous: only one partner, ever.
- Lorax 1 = serial monogamous.
- Lorax 2 = occasional threesomes.
- Lorax 3 = frequent threesomes.
- Lorax 4 = one lover more important than rest.
- Lorax 5 = multiple lovers.
- Lorax 6 = polyamorous: all lovers equally important.
It is also my personal preference to consider the version of the scale offered up by the guy who suggested adding the scale to the Ppercs glossary:
- Lorax 0 = lifetime monogamy.
- Lorax 1 = serial monogamy.
- Lorax 2 = infrequent non-monogamous sexual contact.
- Lorax 3 = limited non-monogamy (e.g., multiple FWBs).
- Lorax 4 = frequent non-monogamy with some romantic elements (e.g., swinging with a regular group).
- Lorax 5 = limited polyamory (e.g., strict primary/secondary structures).
- Lorax 6 = free-form polyamory.
Looking at those three models of the Lorax scale, I am going to place "classic swinging" at Lorax 3: half-monogamous, and half-polyamorous. Let me explain my reasoning, though it isn't precise. I sort of think of swinging as, "emotionally monogamous, but sexually non-monogamous." By contrast, polyamory would be, "emotionally non-monogamous, and sexually non-monogamous." And monogamy (perhaps I should even say, "monofidelity") would be, "emotionally monogamous, and sexually monogamous."
So, there are two components "separating" polyamory from monogamy: the sexual component, and the emotional component. If someone is non-monogamous in both areas, then they're polyamorous. If they're monogamous in both areas, then they're "monogamous overall." If, on the other hand, they're monogamous in the emotional area, but non-monogamous in the sexual area, then they're (generally speaking) in line with swinging. That sort of says to me that swinging meets "half" of the criteria for polyamory. It meets the sexual half, but emotionally it remains monogamous. Thus, I somewhat tend to define "classic swinging" as Lorax 3: right in the middle (between 0 and 6).
Now, polyfidelity isn't so "easy" to place on the scale. It seems like a very "conservative" version of polyamory (hence the word "monogamy" with all its connoted traditions pops into mind). But polyfidelity is also very different from swinging, and it is "both emotionally and sexually non-monogamous." This idea puts it much "higher" on the scale. Lorax 6, if "all the lovers (i.e. partners) are equally important."
A judgment call: I'm going to kind of reserve Lorax 0 and Lorax 6 for special cases where the person "(seldom or) never changes:" that is, they're "always monogamous" (throughout their life), or "always polyamorous" (in the case of Lorax 6).
I say this because Lorax 0 and 1 tend to be differentiated by whether it's "serial monogamy" or "true monogamy." If it's Lorax 0, then there's never a second partner (not even after death or divorce). By contrast, I would think that Lorax 6 suggests there's *always*
a multiple-partner model for the person, throughout their life. If they switch from monogamy to polyamory (as an example), then it shows that they "have a little monogamy in them." Thus, I would have to say, Lorax 5. They couldn't be Lorax 6 unless they had *always*
gravitated toward the multiple-partner model.
What I'm saying is, some polyfidelitists might be Lorax 6, but more polyfidelitists (and more polyamorists in general) will tend to be a Lorax 5 (or lower). If Lorax 0 = "lifetime monogamy," then Lorax 6 = "lifetime polyamory."
Now, the "polycule" to which I belong is polyfidelitous -- we are an MFM poly-fi emotional triad or V -- but we have each previously been monogamous. That makes us perhaps a Lorax 5. However, all three of us are "primaries" within our relationship, so how does that track with the "strict primary/secondary structures" under Lorax 5?
Well, I think it still tracks if one of us was to get into a dating situation with a new (fourth) person. Until that new person was fully integrated (with a lifetime commitment) into our V/triad (making it an N/quad), they would be like a "secondary." No sex would be allowed with that person, and there would be a certain amount of veto power in play with the "three-person in-group." Not that an actual veto would likely happen, but the needs of the "in-group" would tend to trump the new relationship if any conflicts arose. Hence, the word "secondary" could and would apply.
Now don't be offended; I'm not trying to describe "the right way of doing things," or "how polyfidelity is (or ought to be) done." I'm merely using myself (and my situation) as an example of how "strict primary/secondary structures" can exist in (or around) a poly unit with an "all-primary" internal structure.
So, that's a lot of preliminary talk coming from me, but in doing all that talking, I've laid out the groundwork to answer most of my riddles (with many inferred explanations). I feel confident enough to go ahead and start "answering the riddles."
Fair warning: I am fixing to use some gender-neutral pronouns, so try to be patient when I use "xe" for he/she, and "hir" for him, her, etc.